The Muskoka Lawn Bowling Club will be introducing a new sport to the community: golf croquet. Starting this July, several times a week the members will put aside their bowls, bring out the mallets (not golf clubs), wickets and croquet balls, and start swinging.
“Golf croquet is a relatively fast-paced, strategic game, with simple rules,”explained Sally Mills, President of the Muskoka Lawn Bowling Club. “Similar to lawn bowling, croquet is a low-impact sport open to all ages and abilities. Men and women play together. You don’t have to be athletic. Shaded benches are situated around our green, so you can rest if necessary, but most want to be right there to see the action.”
The club, which is located on the grounds of the Muskoka Highlands Golf Course, will set up the croquet wickets on Saturdays afternoons, through Sunday. Golf croquet lessons, registration and game times are listed on the club’s website. The seasonal membership is $200, or $100 for a one-month membership, which includes instruction and all equipment. Members have access to both croquet and lawn bowling.
The club doesn’t require members to wear “all whites”, so comfortable clothes of any colour are acceptable, but shoes with smooth soles, like running shoes, are a must.
The safety of all participants is of utmost concern to the club, which adheres to the extensive safety protocols outlined by the Ontario Lawn Bowling Association. The club is also a member of Croquet Canada, whose website states: “The game of croquet is played at a stand still while shooting, and a walking pace to retrieve balls. There is minimal risk to infectious particles from high energy activity. This is not a team sport. The only items of equipment that are touched during the progress of the game are personal to the player. The exception would be croquet balls which can be retrieved and placed in position using the player’s feet, thus avoiding touching. In short, it is an ideal sport for safe, distanced playing while providing important exercise to players.” For more information and golf croquet rules, visit: http://www.croquet.ca/golf-croquet.html
“Croquet Canada, the national association that represents croquet players across Canada, is excited to welcome the Muskoka Lawn Bowling (& Croquet) Club to our family of clubs,” said Jim Wright, President of Croquet Canada. “Croquet is a wonderful, healthy and safe game for all ages and all abilities from beginners to pros alike. We stand ready to help make this new venture a great success; a new recreational outlet for the whole Muskoka community.”
Mills, who learned how to play golf croquet in Florida, reached out to Croquet Canada for help in acquiring croquet equipment. Within a short time, two Ontario croquet clubs offered to donate enough equipment so that the club would be able to start their own activity. “We are still hoping to acquire more mallets, but I am excited that we will be able to introduce limited golf croquet to the community starting in July,” stated Mills. “I am fortunate to have learned this fun new sport. It helps me to stay active physically, and mentally.”
Mills explained why the Muskoka Lawn Bowling Club decided to introduce croquet at their club. “It is not uncommon for lawn bowling clubs to share their facilities with croquet clubs, so we decided to start our own croquet program. Our large green is ideal for croquet; absolutely flat, with very short grass. We think that our bowlers will enjoy the challenge of the new sport, and hope that others from the community will join for the croquet.”
The lawn bowling & croquet facility is located on the grounds of the Muskoka Highlands Golf Course in Bracebridge. Information about the Golf Croquet program can be found at www.muskokabowls.ca, or by contacting Sally Mills at 705-646-0086 or [email protected].
Don’t miss out on Doppler!
Sign up here to receive our email digest with links to our most recent stories.
Local news in your inbox three times per week!